The Bizarre World of Florida

Culprit in the pulpit? ‘God’ breaks into church July 4, 2014

An employee at River Praise Church opened an office Tuesday morning and found a 39-year-old man sleeping on the floor.

sfl-flduh-god-breaks-church-20140703-001Jacob Randoll, of 5450 Montana Ave., broke several windows that morning to get inside the church at 5320 Palmetto Road, according to a Pasco County Sheriff’s Office report. When deputies arrived, Randoll told them his name was “God,” then “Jesus Christ,” and finally, “Ayden Randoll.”

He was arrested on charges of obstructing police, burglary and criminal mischief at a church. But he wasn’t done.

In the back of a deputy’s car, the report said, he kicked out a window, destroying its frame, and tried to climb out. Deputies had to strike him with a stun gun to keep him from escaping.

Randoll’s aggression continued, the report said, when deputies took him to North Bay Hospital for medical clearance. As he was being checked, he grabbed a physician by the neck. Deputies again used a stun gun to subdue him.

He received additional charges of escape and battery of a health care provider.

They took Randoll to Land O’ Lakes jail, where he was being held Thursday in lieu of $25,150 bail.


Argument over women’s rights ends in the most Florida way possible, with a rabbit being punched July 2, 2014

BUNNYPUNCHER_17340Police say a Boynton Beach man argued with his girlfriend over women’s rights, then violently attacked her rabbit when she said she wanted to end the relationship.

Boynton Beach police responded to the 1000 block of Lake Terrace at 11:38 p.m. Friday for a report of a disturbance.

According to an arrest report, when the woman retreated to a bedroom to end the argument she heard a high-pitched screaming coming from the apartment’s living room. She told police she went to the living room and saw her boyfriend James W. Wertz, 28, abusing her pet rabbit by squeezing and punching it. She said he was hitting the rabbit so hard that blood was coming from its face.

When the woman tried to get Wertz to stop, she said he became enraged. She tried calling 9-1-1 and he threw her across the room, she said. He then grabbed a shirt and left, according to the report.

Police searched for Wertz but were unable to find him. The woman left the apartment for the night because she told police that Wertz has keys and she was afraid he would return after police left.

Police report the rabbit survived the beating and is recovering.

Wertz was located and arrested a few hours later. He remained jailed Tuesday on battery and animal cruelty charges.



No happy hunting ground for woman yielding knife, in search of sex, deputies say

It could be said that Elizabeth Highley doesn’t handle rejection well.

A 25-year-old man told St. Lucie County Sheriff’s investigators he was hanging out with Highley, 56, at her Jensen Beach home on June 16, according to a recently released report. They were drinking wine.


The man said Highley wanted to have sex with him, but that he rebuffed her amorous advances. He said she got angry and lost control, grabbing a cane and a hunting knife and chasing him around.

The man flagged down a deputy in the parking lot of a nearby convenience store and said a woman was chasing him with a knife and was going to kill him.

The deputy saw Highley run into the parking lot with a knife in one hand and what appeared to be a broken walking cane in the other. The deputy told her to drop the weapons and get on the ground, which she did.

The man said he’s friends with Highley.

He said they were hanging out drinking wine at Highley’s home in the 10800 block of South Ocean Drive when Highley wanted to have sex with him.

He said she started pursuing him with the knife and cane after he rejected her lovemaking proposition.

Highley was arrested on a felony aggravated assault charge.

Highley smelled of booze and didn’t appear to care that she was going to jail, the report states.


Argument leads to ‘boxing match’ with 70-year-old woman July 1, 2014

sfl-flduh-boxing-match-20140630-001An argument between two women allegedly ended in a boxing match that got the younger woman arrested.

On June 21, Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a Mary Esther residence for a disturbance, according to the arrest report. Lorie A. Miller said she’d had a fight with the other woman.

Miller said she’d been in a “boxing match” with the 70-year-old woman, the report said. Miller, 40, said she didn’t remember touching the woman, “but probably did shove her out of my way.”

A witness told deputies that he’d seen Miller physically attack the woman and shove her around the living room, according to the report. The victim’s statement was similar.

The victim had injuries on her arms, the report said.

Miller is charged with battery on a person 65 years of age or older.


Bar brouhaha erupts after revelations of amorous encounters June 29, 2014

The tiff that landed a 28-year-old Port St. Lucie woman behind bars involved reports of sex with a former boyfriend, a stomped cell phone and threats to “everyone around,” according to a recently released arrest affidavit.

giovinazzo_janineAt the drinking establishment, Charles Tyrrell, the ex-boyfriend of Janine Giovinazzo, told police he was there with friends when Giovinazzo started problems with him.The case began around midnight June 1 as Port St. Lucie police went to a bar in the 900 block of Southwest Gatlin Boulevard.

Tyrrell said Giovinazzo, 28, got angry because he told her current boyfriend that they still “occasionally” have sex.

“Janine then went outside and was very upset, yelling and screaming that she will fight anybody out there,” the affidavit states.

Tyrrell went outside to try to calm her and tell her to leave, but she didn’t. Tyrrell said Giovinazzo eventually grabbed him, and that her cell phone dropped during the process.

Giovinazzo said Tyrrell stomped on her fingers and cell phone.

Giovinazzo called 911.

Meanwhile, an independent witness said she was outside the bar on her phone when Giovinazzo approached “yelling that she will fight anybody for her man.”

“Are you the (female dog) in the bar with my man?” Giovinazzo is quoted as saying. “Do you wanna get your (buttocks) beat?”

The witness said she told Giovinazzo she was ridiculous, and that a man identified as Tyrrell asked Giovinazzo to leave.

Giovinazzo grabbed Tyrrell and started shaking him, dropping her phone in the process. Tyrrell kicked the phone as she bent down to grab it.

“Janine was still threatening everyone around,” the affidavit states.

Giovinazzo, of Port St. Lucie, was arrested on a misdemeanor battery charge and taken to the St. Lucie County jail, while Tyrrell was issued a notice to appear in court on the same charge.


Bar owner wants judge to toss the law in spiked drink case June 27, 2014

os-robersonjeffery-jpg-20140626A video appears to show Jeffery Roberson, owner of the Shovelhead Lounge in Longwood, reaching into his pocket and pouring something into the drink of a 28-year-old woman as they were throwing back shots after hours.

He was arrested in August, accused of tampering with her drink, a felony that could send him to prison for 30 years.

Friday Roberson’s attorney will try to clear his client – not by challenging the evidence against him but by asking Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler to declare Florida’s food tampering statute unconstitutional.

“It’s an obscure, rarely-used criminal statute,” said defense attorney Scott Richardson.

It’s also vague, overly broad and unduly harsh, he argues in court paperwork.

In this case, however, the evidence against Roberson is compelling.

Video from a bar surveillance camera shows Roberson pouring vodka shots for himself and bartender Jenna Silvestro, 28, after closing time Aug. 12.

It also appears to show Roberson reach into his pocket and add something to Silvestro’s drinks, according to his arrest report.

Silvestro felt sick, she told police.

At the hospital, medical tests showed that she had ingested amphetamine, a stimulant.

Her shots tasted odd, she told them, and she saw small “black dots” in her glass but thought they were dust or ash, according to police.

Richardson said his client had no romantic interest in Silvestro. Assistant State Attorney Martine McCarthy agrees.

It’s not clear what motive might be involved, both lawyers said.

“It’s somewhat of a mystery to everyone involved,” Richardson said, “because typically in a situation like this, the alleged drug is not amphetamine. It’s something that would put someone down rather than an amphetamine that would keep someone going.”

Roberson was not available for comment Thursday.


Florida … Where else would a teenager kill his nudist grandmother and drive her body around in her minivan? June 25, 2014

A teenager killed his grandmother in a bloody struggle inside her home at a nudist community and then drove around with her body in a minivan for nearly five hours, authorities said.

13f4a7e3a85c0118580f6a706700f283Brandon Machetto, 18, had been living with his grandmother, 74-year-old Sylvia Schmitt, for the past several weeks and they apparently fought frequently, said Pasco County sheriff’s spokeswoman Melanie Snow.

A neighbor called authorities after seeing Machetto drag a wrapped bag with feet dangling out into his grandmother’s minivan early Monday, police said.

Machetto drove around with his grandmother’s body in the back and when deputies tried to pull him over, he refused, police said. He eventually drove back to the Paradise Lakes community and was arrested.

Machetto was charged with first-degree murder and is being held in jail without bond. It’s unclear if he has an attorney.

Ronnie Hall, Machetto’s martial arts instructor for seven years, said Machetto nearly died a few years ago when he was attacked by a group of teens who hit him in the back of the head with a rock, the Tampa Bay Times (http://bittyurl.co/4nhz ) reported. Hall said Machetto suffered a brain injury, and that he was not aggressive.

Machetto and his grandmother apparently fought as she tried to get her grandson to take his medication. Deputies said Machetto had been accused of domestic violence against Schmitt in 2012, but she dropped the charge.


This guy probably thought terrorizing some school kids would be as easy as ABC

A 21-year-old man was arrested in Holly Hill after, police say, he tried to scare a group of children on school property by carrying a pellet gun and “play” handcuffs while trying to find out who stole his bike.

sfl-flduh-fake-cop-scare-kids-20140624-001Eric Daniel Dukes was arrested Monday on charges of having a weapon on school property.

According to a charging affidavit, an officer was called to Holly Hill School at 1500 Center Avenue around noon in reference to a suspicious person and found Dukes near some children.

The officer ordered Dukes to the ground and removed the gun from Dukes’ hip, police said.

Dukes told police that his bike was stolen Sunday night and he was looking for it, according to the affidavit.  The children said Dukes claimed that he was a undercover police officer and that they were not allowed to lie to him, according to officials.

Police said that Dukes also stated that he carried the gun on his hip to try to scare the children.

He claimed that he had a license to carry a gun, but the permit was never found, police said.

Dukes was then arrested and taken to the Volusia County Jail.


Another ‘mother of the year’ left her young kids in car alone to shop at sex store June 24, 2014

sfl-flduh-kids-alone-sex-store-20140623-001A woman was arrested Saturday after, deputies say, she left her two young children in her car while she went shopping at the Todd Adult Superstore.

About 9:30 p.m., a passerby saw the children and waited by the car for 20 minutes before calling deputies, a Pasco sheriff’s report states.

Deputies arrived and found the children, ages 1 and 3, in the car. The doors were locked and the engine was left running. Inside the store, at 10831 U.S. 19, they found Ke’ala O Kea Kua Morgan Crocker, 22, who said she was helping a friend shop.

Crocker told deputies she made a “stupid mistake,” the report states.

Neither of the children were harmed and they were later turned over to Child Protective Investigators.

Crocker, of 10368 Lansfield St. in Spring Hill, was charged with child neglect and leaving a child unattended in a car. She has since been released on $1,100 bail.


How embarrassing will it be to think that you’re going to be known in prison as the guy who tried to kill someone with grits? June 21, 2014

thGrits are known as a Southern comfort food. But it can be a white-hot weapon in the wrong hands.

That’s what Darryl Blacknell, 29, of Orlando learned Wednesday when a petty argument ended in hospitalization for second- and third-degree burns.

Edward Holley, 59, now faces attempted-murder charges after he admitted to throwing a pot of scalding grits at Blacknell.

“Blacknell stated that the pain was horrible and he began screaming and running away from the house,” an arrest report said.

He was burned over 30 percent of his body, police said. The men are neighbors who fight regularly, with their latest disagreement Tuesday night.

Police did not say what started the argument but a witness said it was over an insignificant issue.

The argument ended in a pushing match outside Holley’s home on King Cole Boulevard in southwest Orlando.

Holley warned Blacknell to stay away from his home. The next day, Blacknell was back.

At some point, Holley attacked Blacknell with hot grits he just pulled off the stove, a report said.



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